EXCEPTIONAL yields are making it a certainty that Western Australian growers will see another record season for 2022-23, according to the Grain Industry of Western Australia’s (GIWA) December Crop Report released today.
In the December wrap-up, GIWA is estimating a total crop production of 24.747 million tonnes (Mt), far above the 2021-22 record of 24Mt.
This result is making it a year to remember across all WA grain growing regions, mostly for the yields achieved, but also for those in the southern regions with the unseasonal weather leading up to and during harvest.
Grain yields are in some cases “the best ever”, and in most cases, growers average paddock yields are higher than in 2021, which drove the record tonnage for the state by a fair margin.
Uncertainty surrounds final tonnage
With all regions set to equal or exceed last year’s tonnage, it is clear that this year will be another record, although the question is “by how much?”.
With harvest running several weeks later than normal, the final result will not be known until mid-January 2023, and with so much harvesting to go, there is still some uncertainty around what that final figure will be.
The very wet southern Albany and Esperance port zones may not come in with all the tonnes expected due to the likely impact of lodged crops and head loss on final harvested yields.
Apart from the lower protein, due to the dilution from the very high yields, wheat grain quality has been very good with very low screenings and very high grain weight.
Falling numbers and sprouting have not been too bad, although much of the area of suspect varieties in the rain impacted southern regions is still to be harvested.
Wheat tonnes will exceed 13Mt with more of a contribution from the low rainfall regions than there has been for a long time.
Both canola and lupins have been exceptional, and in most regions, are yielding whole-paddock averages not seen before.
Barley grain yields and quality have been good in all areas other than the southern regions where leaf diseases took hold in the warm wet conditions and yield has been lost due to weather events.
To read the full GIWA December Crop report, including zone-specific information click here.